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Sapo ‘can’t take over grant payments without help of CPS’

The Post Office says it’s ready to take over the distribution of social grants from CPS but can’t do so without the company come 1 April.

A screengrab shows Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Constitutional Court, on 6 March 2018. Picture: SABC Digital News/youtube.com

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Post Office (Sapo) says while it’s ready to take over the distribution of social grants from 1 April, it can only do so with the assistance of Cash Paymaster Services (CPS).

The Social Security Agency of SA (Sassa) approached the Constitutional Court requesting that the court extend its invalid contract with CPS.

It’s concerned that 29% of grant beneficiaries, most of whom live in rural areas and depend on cash delivery of their social grants, may not be paid as the Post Office doesn’t have the capacity to provide the cash payment service.

The court has criticised the agency for failing to approach the Constitutional Court in December when it became clear that the Post Office was not fully capacitated to take over.

The Post Office is essentially saying it’s ready to take over the distribution of social grants from CPS but can’t do so without the company come 1 April.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng asked for clarity.

“As we stand currently in terms of the technical team and transmission period, we [Sapo] are able to start as from 1 April on a diminishing scale, meaning we need the assistance of CPS to continue paying so that no beneficiary remains unpaid.”

The Social Security Agency has told the court if it doesn’t extend its contract with CPS there will be a crisis in April.

The justices have lashed out at the agency for essentially blackmailing the court and perpetuating unlawfulness.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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